University of Michigan Museum of Zoology

Skip to main content


Contact Info

University of Michigan
Museum of Zoology
1109 Geddes Ave
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

138 Museums

(734) 615-9950


Liliana Cortés Ortiz

Assistant Research Scientist

Field of Study

Evolution of neotropical primates

Adademic Background

Dr. Cortés Ortiz received her Ph.D. from the University of East Anglia in 2003; her dissertation on the evolution of howler monkeys was mainly directed by Dr. Eldredge Bermingham of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute. In 1998, she received a master's degree in neuroethology from the Universidad Veracruzana, in Xalapa, Veracruz, Mexico, with a dissertation on the mating behavior and social system of howler monkeys. She received her bachelor's degree in biology from the Universidad Veracruzana in 1992. She joined the faculty of Universidad Veracruzana, as a permanent research professor at the Tropical Research Center (2003-2005). At the University of Michigan she has been an assistant research scientist since September 2004 in a shared position between the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and the Museum of Zoology.

Research Interests

Dr. Cortés Ortiz's research interests include the evolution and systematics of Neotropical primates. Her work has been focused on phylogenetics of howler monkeys (genus Alouatta), as well as the phylogeography and colonization patterns of Alouatta in Mesoamerica. She is also working on the characterization of a hybrid zone between A. palliata and A. pigra, two true species that are hybridizing in Southeast Mexico. Additionally, she is interested in using molecular tools to understand patterns of primate behavior and to establish a basis for primate conservation.